Day 1, Grade 8

Today is the first day of school for my kids:

Some of us are more excited about that than others of us:

As we approached the school for this morning’s drop off, I saw a mom walking a small little girl down the sidewalk.

“Seems like it was just a little while ago I was taking you guys to kindergarten,” I said.  The girl’s backpack looked huge.  I remember how big my kids’ backpacks used to look.  I remember how hard it was to leave them at school that first year.

“I cried after I dropped you off.”

“Are you serious?” one child asked, incredulous.

“Awww, Mommy cried,” the other added, not sympathetically.

I just love my middle-schoolers.

The first day is always a little bittersweet for me, a marker of time passing.  One less year left.  Today is their last first day of middle school.  I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that just two short years ago, our first day looked like this:

Bittersweet as it is, today I am grateful for so many things.  I am grateful that my children have a safe school to attend, with teachers who care and work hard for them.  I am grateful that my children are healthy and have every reason to expect that this year will be a good one.  And I am grateful for the reality check of annual photos, a tradition that reminds me how fleeting this time is, how the children who stand in front of my front door today will only be these particular children for a very short time.

I’m grateful for the reminder to notice and savor who they are every day, because tomorrow they will have changed, just a little bit more, into the people they are becoming.  And while I will love those new people just as much as I love the ones I’ll go home to later today,  I will always miss the children I used to have–my shy kindergarten girl who wore bows in her hair, my grinning, gap-toothed 3rd grade boy, my just-about-to-sprout 6th graders.

I’m sure that two years from now, when they are sophomores who know everything, I will be just as nostalgic for my my goofy, moody, often-sarcastic 8th graders.

Happy new year, everyone.

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2 responses to “Day 1, Grade 8

  1. I know what you mean about time passing. I did not think I would have a hard time sending my oldest off to 1st grade today. I just feel this emptiness. I MISS HER BEING HOME! Like you, I am grateful for a great school & wonderful teachers. It just seemed like yesterday she was the pudgy baby girl I was pushing around in the stroller on our morning walks.

  2. I know. My whole family is home during the summer, and I always miss them when we all go back to school. It passes as I get used to the new normal, though.

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